The Future of Children's Literature: The Story Behind the Art
This new piece, co-illustrated by both Benjamin Hummel and Cherish Flieder, tackles the question, what role does children’s literature have as we move full steam into the 21st century?
We certainly live in a changing world. Book sales nationwide continue to drop–magazine and newspapers are going out of business left and right. We are in the growing pains of a new, digital revolution, in which everybody can become a contributor. There are pros and cons to this new digital age, but in the end, I believe that kids still want to be entertained, they still want to escape into a world of imagination.
With the new technology changes, we have newer and more innovative ways to distribute great storytelling to kids these days that could never even been dreamed of even fifteen years ago. From smart phones to tablets, kids can enjoy interactive e-books–filled with learning, fun, imagination and animation. As we figure out our way through these cool new changes, we as artists and writers and poets will still be called upon for our creativity and imagination.
We chose Steampunk as a theme for this illustration, to tie in with the juxtaposition between the past and the future. The books in the foreground countryside represent the fact that no matter what happens, paper pages will always be here with us. (Something about not needing batteries, never freezing, and never having to worry about data loss.) The tablets and smart devices in the distance form the booming and approaching city. And the pig? Why the pig? Well… Why not?
So what about you? What are your thoughts about the future of children’s literature? Reply using the form below and let us know!
Cherish and Ben,
I really enjoyed your article on The Future of Childrens Literature: The Story behind the Art. Loved how you incorporated the old and new ways of publishing into your illustration. You guys do nice work!